Action Now along with other members of the Grassroots Education Movement, held a Local School Council Summit on Saturday, February 15th, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Westinghouse High School. The purpose of the summit was to educate parents, community members and teachers on how to run for a position on their Local School Council. The summit was also an opportunity for candidates to help form a coordinated platform for change so that all LSCs are united in their goal to take back power over their neighborhood schools.
The summit began with presentations from LSC and community members on a variety of strong education justice campaigns across the city, including the fight for an elected representative school board, the movement against high stakes testing, the campaign for universal pre-k, the demand for equitable funding and more. Action Now's Zerlina Smith spoke out against the lack of funding for the basics for our neighborhood schools, while schools in rich neighborhoods and charter schools get millions of dollars from CPS. She also touched on how socioeconomic factors affect education and that working families need a raise in the minimum wage.
After the presentations, potential LSC candidates broke out into groups to discuss which issues were most important to them. Then everyone came together once again to vote on the issues that will make up a city-wide platform for the new LSC candidates. When the voting was completed, candidates went back into groups to learn the particulars of how to win a Local School Council election. There were also workshops on the duties and responsibilities of LSC members, how to create strong parent/teacher relationships, how to hold CPS accountable to parents, and more.